Shop Windows to the Universe

Earth Science Rocks! Select one of our four cool NESTA t-shirts from our online store, and express your love of Earth and space science!
The Rosetta lander.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy NASA.

Rosetta lander instruments

The Rosetta lander has many instruments that it will use to make measurements when it lands on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The instruments carried by the lander are described in detail in the table below. The instruments on the Rosetta orbiter are described on a separate page.

Instrument Purpose Principal investigator
ALICE - Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer Analyzes gases in comet's coma and tail Dr. Alan Stern, Southwest Research Institute, USA
CONSERT - Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission Radio sounding, nucleus tomography - uses radio waves to probe comet's interior Prof. Wlodek Kofman, Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Ingenieurs, France
COSIMA - Cometary Secondary Ion Mass Analyser Dust mass spectrometer - chemical analysis of dust grains Dr. Jochen Kissel, Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Germany
GIADA - Grain Impact Analyser and Dust Accumulator Dust velocity and impact measurement - number, masses, and velocities of dust grains coming from the comet Prof. Luigi Colangeli, Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Italy
MIDAS - Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System Micro-imaging dust analysis - physical analysis (size, shape, etc.) of dust grains Prof. Willi Riedler, Space Research Institute, Austria
MIRO - Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter Microwave spectrometer - measures major gases and sub-surface temperature of the comet Dr. Samuel Gulkis, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA
OSIRIS - Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System Wide-angle and narrow-angle cameras Dr. Horst Uwe Keller, Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, Germany
ROSINA - Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis Neutral gas and ion mass spectrometer - chemical analysis of comet's atmosphere Prof. Hans Balsiger, University of Bern, Switzerland
RPC - Rosetta Plasma Consortium Plasma measurements - 5 sensors measure physical properties of the nucleus, the structure of the coma, and the comet's interaction with the solar wind Dr. Rolf Boström, Swedish Inst. of Space Physics, Sweden
Dr. James Burch, Southwest Research Institute, USA
Prof. Karl-Heinz Glassmeier, Technische Universität, Germany
Prof. Rickard Lundin, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Sweden
Dr. Jean-Gabriel Trotignon, LPCE/CNRS, France
RSI - Radio Science Investigation Spacecraft's radio signals are used to measure the mass & density of the nucleus and to define the comet's orbit. Dr. Martin Pätzold, Universität Köln, Germany
VIRTIS - Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer Maps the temperature on the surface of the nucleus & identifies gases Dr. Angioletta Coradini, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale, Italy
Last modified January 8, 2004 by Randy Russell.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games section of our online store includes a climate change card game and the Traveling Nitrogen game!

Windows to the Universe Community



You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was discovered in 1969 by Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko. The comet orbits the Sun once every 6.57 years. Its orbit brings it closer to the Sun than Mars at the...more

Rosetta instruments

The Rosetta spacecraft has many instruments that it will use to measure various aspects of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko during its visit. This diagram shows the two cameras that make up the OSIRIS imaging...more

Comet Hale-Bopp

Hale-Bopp continues to offer surprises as astronomers study the comet. Using the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Ultraviolet Explorer, astronomers have found that their are distinctly different...more

Missions to Halley's comet in 1986

Six spacecraft flew by Halley's comet in 1986. There were two spacecraft launched from Japan, Suisei and Sakigake, and two from the Soviet Union, Vega 1 & 2. One spacecraft, ICE, from the United States...more

The Jupiter family of comets

Comets are observed to go around the sun in a long period of time or a short period of time. Thus they are named "long-period" or "short-period" comets. One group of short-period comets, called the Jupiter...more

What we learned from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

Scientists have learned a great deal from the crash of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Scientists traced the orbit of the comet backwards in time to guess its origin. This calculation, along with the discovery...more

The trajectory of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 over time

Mathematical theory suggests that comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was likely a short-period comet which was captured into orbit around Jupiter in 1929 and began to execute the trajectory plotted in this diagram....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA